A simple math error may be the reason that drilling permits have been held up in some locations, the Biden administration has revealed.
According to a report from The Daily Caller, the administration acknowledged in a letter to industry leaders that “a mathematical error is delaying the federal offshore oil and gas program.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) head Richard Spinrad said that permitting delays had been attributed to a miscalculation that resulted when the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) used a flawed model to measure the ecological impact of offshore drilling.
In the letter, which was addressed to National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), Spinrad noted, “NMFS understands the concerns of industry and is working with [the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)] to expeditiously develop … revised regulations.”
When pressed to address the skyrocketing gas prices — coupled with concerns that not enough was being done to expedite domestic production of oil and gas — former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was fond of touting the thousands of leases that had already been approved for drilling in U.S. territories.
But as Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy and others pointed out, having the leases approved did not mean there was any oil to drill. And even if there was oil, in addition to owning the leases, oil companies had to have approved permits in order to legally drill — and the Biden administration already had a massive backlog of permits waiting for approval.
“Republican congressional candidate Jan Kulmann, who worked in the energy industry for 23 years, explained the situation further.
“In the course of defending the Biden administration’s refusal to issue new oil and gas leases on federal land, Psaki said that there are over 9,000 unused leases already. So, why issue new ones?” Kulmann wrote for the Washington Examiner, adding, “You might be fooled into thinking this is a valid point, but only if you know nothing about the energy industry, in which I have worked for 23 years.”
“An existing lease means nothing if you cannot get surface agreements in place or pipelines close by enough to move the oil and gas,” Kulmann continued. “A new lease may be more promising for short-term production than an existing lease. But whenever this issue comes up, Democrats try to make it sound like companies are just sitting on permits, irrationally doing nothing, and therefore no new ones ought to be issued. In short, this is misdirection — a deliberate effort to mislead the public with a falsehood that sounds plausible.”